Written By: Nadia Ibanez
It has just been revealed that Pandora has been sending personal information of their users to third party advertising clients. And to make matters even worse, the online personalized music station website was also subpoenaed by a court earlier this week for user data collection in its Pandora Android app. Security firm Veracode unveiled this information that the app transmits personal information to third parties prior to today’s findings.
After conducting a follow-up, Veracode determined that Pandora users’ information about birthdays, gender, Android ID, and GPS information was being sent out to various advertising agencies. Now, that explains why I keep getting advertisements on my Pandora station about daily deals for cupcakes and spa treatments!
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Pandora now has to produce documents about its data collection practices on Android and iOS devices by request of a federal grand jury. According to an article on ArsTechnica, Veracode:
“…verified that the AdMob library accesses the user's GPS information and various data about the application itself, such as package name and version info. That's relatively benign, but Veracode says there are other references that appear to transmit a user's birthday, gender, and postal code. Additionally, the app appears to send the user's Android ID, and seems to continually access the user's GPS location for updates.”
Pandora continues to say that it needs user information in order to develop personalized music stations, however, Veracode sees things a bit differently. The company’s analysis says that Pandora isn’t just getting the information to create stations, but is also doing it for advertising purposes. If the federal grand jury sees it the same way, Pandora can face some major legal issues.